If you had just 5 days to best prepare someone to be able to deal with today's most likely types of violence, what would you teach? What would you leave out? This is what Reality Based Self Defence (RBSD) is all about.
Assume the people turning up for this training have an aver age to moderate level of conditioning. Gear it up for people who will physically be able to partake in most if not all types of physical activities associated with Low Tech Combat. It can be toned down for elderly and less able people later as required.
Include What and Leave Out What?
So what would you include and what would you leave out? I will go through what I feel would be important in a purely practical system with only so much time to teach and have them be able to apply the techniques by the time the 5 days is up.
Focus on Assault or Robbery?
From my recent research, Assault is far more likely than Robbery. This can be seen from Australian stats on Assault and Robbery, US stats on Assault and Robbery as well as UK stats on Assault and Robbery. On top of that, it can be seen that Robbery has more serious consequences (injury).
So Assault is more likely and Robbery has more serious consequences. What this means is it is up to the individual instructor to look at his students and determine if they regularly go out on weekends drinking, to restaurants or to other places where Assault tends to happen. If they do visit these places, an emphasis should be given to countering Assault type of attacks. If they avoid these times and places, it is best to focus on Robbery.
Have a Realistic Aim
These two different types of attacks are very different in the lead up and execution as was discussed in my post about the difference between Alpha Male and Predatory attacks. This must be taken into consideration when teaching a short RBSD system. To ignore this is to really waste peoples time who are there to learn how to avoid or de-escalate and if necessary, emerge the victor from a violent encounter.
So What is the Focus?
It can seem very unsexy but the first full day should be spent on learning about the key indicators that an attacker gives away. These are the soft skills. Awareness and the Jeff Coopers Colour Codes of Awareness will be taught as many people remain unfamiliar with this. Without going into too much detail about soft skills here, this subject will make up the lessons for the first day which include role playing towards the end of the day.
This will see a transition from Awareness into De-escalation. This will include non aggressive body language as well as verbal negotiation. Again, role playing and scenarios will feature heavily towards the end of the morning.
The afternoon will cover simple weapon use and defences.
Edged weapons will be the main effort here as they have been seen to be the most likely weapon used except in the US where firearms are mostly used. In the US, you had better be teaching some defences and counters to firearms or you are misleading people into thinking they can defend themselves. If not counters, at least instruct people in the fundamentals such as the specific dangers of firearms and in most situations, to co-operate.
Again, we will start out learning technique and towards the end of the afternoon, attacks will be launched from scenarios and role players. Attacks will be launched in a similar manner to real life as indicated by CCTV, prison footage and real life experiences people have had.
Day 3 will see some basic defences, shields, entries and counters being taught. Simple techniques from Crazy Monkey, the Shield, some basic boxing slipping and weaving and other related material. Day 3 will focus on defending against an onslaught and on entering safely to counter attack or launch a pre emptive strike. Again, in the afternoon, these will be launched towards the end of a scenario.
This will see the basic unarmed tools being taught.
Simple tools to teach should include;
Thai Clinch and control into knees
Open hand strikes and Hammer Fists
Round and straight kicks to shins, knees and thighs
Getting up safely from the ground
Basic escapes and positions of control on the ground (hips escapes etc.)
From the beginning these will be done on pads and bags to focus purely on 100% power. In the afternoon, some role playing and simulations will progress from showing some signs of imminent attack, through to approach, attempting de-escalation (sometimes successful), through to attack/entry where the defender either counters or launches a pre-emptive strike on the pad that the attacker is holding.
The end of the day will be a lesson on considerations for improvised weapons and their use.
All morning will involve sparring and wrestling with appropriate protective gear and instructor controls. Towards the end of the morning, feints, draws, breaking rhythm and stop hits will be taught.
The afternoon will be the final stage where all of the above will be pressure tested in a variety of scenarios and simulations using role players and props both armed and unarmed. The ratio of Assault and/or Robbery scenarios will be determined by the group being taught.
The Intended Result
Hopefully by the end of the 5 days, people will be as best prepared as humanly possible. I have included all relevant areas and left some out due to time constraints. The emphasis is on avoiding and if not possible, de-escalating and if not possible, destroying the attacker thus ensuring our own survival and safety.
Peer Reviewed RBSD Systems
Below is a list of 4 Peer Reviewed RBSD systems for further research. If you wanted to do an RBSD course, you could do far worse than try out these systems. They generally cover most areas mentioned above in my post and are widely considered in the Martial Arts and Self Protection world as being the best available.
Click on the link above each image to find more information on these excellent Reality Based Self Defence (RBSD) systems.
If you have any thoughts or experiences with these systems feel free to leave a comment below. What would you do differently if you were to design a 5 day course?